rollback on some of Facebook's heavily-debated privacy changes, the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary still has questions for Facebook's CEO. On Friday, Representative John Conyers (D-MI) sent Mark Zuckerberg a letter requesting additional information on Facebook's privacy activities.Despite the
"(W)e would appreciate a detailed explanation of the information about Facebook users that your company has provided to third parties without the knowledge of the account holders -- particularly in circumstances in which the user did not expressly opt for this type of information sharing."
Conyers goes on to say:
"Please explain your prior policies with respect to user consent for information sharing, and with whom any information was shared. Also, please detail how the new policies Facebook is adopting differ from past practices, including whether the burden is on the user to opt in or opt out of the relevant privacy settings."
The blog Inside Facebook interprets the Judiciary Committee's interest like this.
"The first sentence of the excerpt, above, appears to be about the nature of how Instant Personalization works, along with an allusion to the more general changes that Facebook made to General Information in recent months.
The second sentence appears to be about those general changes.
The final sentence appears to ask if the new changes impact Instant Personalization's opt-out setting."
Because of its popularity and its sweeping changes to a default public status for all users, Facebook has definitely assumed center focus in the discussion on online privacy. But other issues, like use of private information in online advertising, has also assumed importance enough to attract the attention of the Congress.
If nothing else, the continued interest in Facebook by the U.S. government indicates that regardless of users' feelings, Congress isn't done with it yet.